Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
It would be great if we all had the time, skills, and patience to learn computer coding, especially since technology pervades so many areas of our life. But thankfully, there are applications and web developers out there who provide ways for the rest of us to produce apps with little or no coding skills.
Back in June, I reviewed one such web application called Buzztouch, which is designed to allow anyone to create their own smartphone application. Now a similar program has just been released called Infinite Monkeys, a web-based tool geared toward niche communities who want to share content on the iPhone and Android platforms. Infinite Monkeys is not as polished theme wise as Buzztouch, but unlike the latter, Infinite Monkeys, says the developers, “Is completely web-based, and works on any computer or tablet device. You never touch the source code and don’t have to know what it is or how it works.” There are several other differences that also might make Infinite Monkey more accessible to non-programmers than Buzztouch. But you’re free to explore both and see which fits your needs.
Infinite Monkeys’ web-based graphic user interface allows users to incorporate existing web content from social networking sites like Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, and blogging sites.
These web-based apps of course don’t compare to more advanced apps like Angry Birds, but they are great for small niche communities and businesses, such as school associations, sports teams, churches, musicians and restaurants, who want to share content privately or publicly.
Infinite Monkeys provides three different app platform models, ranging from free to the pro level version of $499. But for many users, the free HTML 5 web-based, and ad-supported model should suffice.
Building An App
Infinite Monkey provides a seriously easy step-by-step process for creating a smartphone app in less than an hour; that is if you have an ample amount of content already posted on the web.
The great thing about using a web-based platform is that you can constantly add content and updates to your app via your blog site, YouTube channel, photo sharing site, etc.
The Infinite Monkey web application uses a familiar drag-and-drop process. You start off by giving your app a title, followed by choosing a privacy setting. You can make the app public, or private for closed community access which will prompt users to enter a password to view content.
You can of course customize the background image and splash screen, as well as the font colors for the title and other text.
The core content of your app consists of primarily news and third-party feeds such as your blog site(s) and specific URLs.
Infinite Monkeys includes additional content models for music and books, food and beverages, events, sports, reference materials, and location services such as a map and directions.
With the click of a button you can easily preview your app at any point in the development process. The online app also includes an embedded short video tutorial for each of the three part steps and multifunction tools.
You have poor control over the content of your app, including links to streaming videos, live chatrooms, shared calendars for upcoming events, shopping links to recommended products, and tap–t0–call phone contact information.
The free version of Infinite Monkeys allows you to instantly post your HTML 5 version immediately to the web so that anyone with a web-enabled smartphone can access it through the assigned URL.
Since your app is ad-supported, Infinite Monkeys will host it for free on their server. While it is not nearly as polished as professional apps that you will find in say the iTunes App Store, it does provide a way for anyone to get their content into this space.
Let us know what you think of Infinite Monkeys in the comments below. Does it cater to your needs or does an alternative app do a much better job?